Air handling unit restoration just makes sense. As buildings age, so does the infrastructure and equipment that supports them. Systems break down, components corrode, and building materials degrade. The fact is, as facilities managers well know, equipment needs replacing. This certainly includes air handling units (AHU). Replacement requires new planning, designing, and engineering, and a significant investment of capital, but it’s not the only option.
Restoration is Not Replacement
A functioning HVAC system is critical to proper ventilation. These systems work around the clock to clean the air and prevent mold and bacteria from forming. They help keep employees healthy and productive while working to prevent Sick Building Syndrome.
The average lifecycle of HVAC equipment is about 25 years, less for AHUs. Typically, asset managers and facility directors plan to replace or redesign their HVAC systems every 15 to 20 years or so. This seems like the most proactive move, but air handling unit restoration is as or more effective in many cases.
Eventually replacement is inevitable, but AHU restoration helps facility operation directors manage their phased replacement plans by increasing the lifespan of existing equipment. It delivers the same benefits with less disruption and a lower carbon footprint. HVAC restoration advantages also include savings in time and money.
Air Handling Unit Restoration Advantages
The basic components of cabinet, blower, and coil remain the core elements of air handling units as they have for decades. This makes maintenance easier and in many cases, only a few components, like an old blower, may need replacing.
Other restoration benefits include:
AHU restoration requires less time than replacing entire systems which may call for new design planning. New HVAC systems require that work gets done in phases which extends the overall project time. The restoration of existing equipment takes less time, so it won’t impact workflow.
HVAC equipment replacement takes large sections of the system down for varying lengths of time. This causes an imbalance within the system and in the building. It alters employee traffic patterns, creates noise, and is disruptive to workers which affects productivity and employee morale. Air handling unit restoration is performed outside of normal operating hours allowing for minimal downtime.
Less downtime and shorter project completion times add up to less cost and that is never far from the minds of facilities managers. AHU restoration also increases the lifespan of existing equipment, improves its efficiency, and reduces the amount of embodied energy required as each step in the process contributes to overall energy consumption. Because the use lifespan of the air handling unit is increased, restoration can be paid for with capital funds, saving both capex and maintenance budgets.
HVAC New Life Restoration Solutions
Pure Air Control Services has engineered solutions for air handling unit restoration, including hygienic cleaning and refinishing as well as insulation and ECM fan array retrofits.
Pure Air Control Services Building Sciences division provides HVAC assessments. These assessment lets engineering departments and mechanical contractors know AHUs that are good candidates for HVAC restoration based on hygiene and performance data.
PURE-Steam HVAC Coil Cleaning
PURE-Steam cleaning is a 15 point, eco-friendly, process utilizing high temperature and low-pressure steam to disinfect and improve the performance of an AHU. It’s an important factor in energy efficiency payback with air handling unit restoration.
PURE-Coat and PURE-Liner 2.0 Refinishing
After cleaning the coils, the interior and exterior of the AHU gets refinished using a flexible siloxane coating called PURE-Coat. PURE-Liner 2.0 is a similar compound to PURE-Coat formulated for use in drain pans. The BRS team also replaces drain pans or performs neces
sary fabrication repairs to it. These HVAC restoration processes have a 5-year limited manufacturer’s warranty but often remain trouble-free for years after that.
PURE-Cell Cabinet Insulation
During the AHU restoration process, insulation is inspected for signs of deterioration. Fiberglass particles cause major indoor air quality problems when distributed through the ventilation system. So, if the insulation still possesses structural integrity, encapsulation can prevent any further degradation. However, the safer retrofit option is PURE-Cell fiberglass-free insulation. This closed cell insulation has the same R value and NSF properties as fiberglass but will not break down over time.
ECM Fan Wall & Other Upgrades
One of the biggest influencers of inefficiency in older AHUs is the blower and AC motor. Not only are they energy hogs, but they also frequently break down. Belts wear over time which contributes to coil fouling. Eventually belts break and motors burn out bearings which lead to downtime and costly repairs.
With air handling unit restoration old blowers are replaced with modern ECM fan walls. Multiple high efficiency fans consume less power and provide zero redundancy. The whole fan wall has a single power source and each fan is plug and play. The fan array also syncs with the BACnet for ultimate control.
There are other upgrades to AHU restoration as well such as new compressors, controls, dampers and doors.
Not every air handling unit is a candidate for restoration. But those that are offer significant advantages to operations and the bottom line. For more information on HVAC New Life AHU restoration and PURE-Steam services, please call 1-800-422-7873 or Contact Us.